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article imageOp-Ed: Feminists claim victory for censoring Facebook

By Alexander Baron     May 29, 2013 in Politics
London - A London feminist has claimed to have scored a victory over Facebook concerning "sexist" posts, but is this really the case?
If you haven't heard of The Everyday Sexism Project, you haven't missed anything. On its About page it parrots the time honoured facile statistical nonsense that feminists are so found of spouting, such as:
"only 22% of MPs are female."
"nearly 70% of speaking parts in Hollywood films are taken by men, (though female characters are five times more likely to strip down to sexy clothing.)"
"only around 13% of FTSE 100 corporate board members are female"
as though these figures actually mean anything. Check out this article and follow the links to see the facts behind the stats. Rape though is an entirely different matter; rape is not some feminist flight of fancy, it is a crime against the person.
Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates and her tiny gaggle of activists claim to have scored a victory over Facebook by convincing 15 of its major advertisers to suspend their advertising campaigns after bombarding them with e-mails and tweets over its apparently tardy response to taking down jokes about rape, indecent images, and so on. It may well have been and may continue to be, but, and this is an enormous but, Facebook has the largest user base of any social media on the planet. Currently it boasts over one billion monthly users, more than one in seven of the world population. Even if one allows for duplicate accounts and such, that is an enormous number of potential complainers - and whiners. Two years ago, Facebook was said to have around 2,000 employees, only a tiny fraction of whom will investigate abuse complaints, which can include copyright claims, and far more important issues than rape jokes such as criminal activity including malware scams and phishes directed against the site itself.
Like all big companies - virtual and other - Facebook has terms of service; these include:
"a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved " - which is a legal requirement, and
"We also impose limitations on the display of nudity" - which is not.
Is that or is that not clear?
Having such a massive user base it is clear that someone somewhere will find almost any post or photograph offensive, and doubtless there will always be trolls who have nothing better to do than find ways of winding them up. By the same token, Facebook is unlikely to want to cause widespread or grave offence, but removing grossly offensive posts does not mean the charismatic Mr Zuckerberg and his team of geeks are obliged to pander to the whims of every crank, whiner or whinger who finds every joke cracked by a man at the expense of a woman comparable with cyber-rape.
There could though be a curious up side to this current nonsense. At the moment, a man is on trial for rape in Northern Ireland. Although it would not be appropriate to comment on this in any depth, Stephen Doherty is said to have sent a message of apology to his alleged victim through Facebook hours after the alleged offence.
There have also been cases of criminals posting videos of their dastardly acts on-line, which have led to successful prosecutions. While it is better to have no crime and no video, most police officers would probably consider such bravado or stupidity to be worth the candle.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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